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The phrase “root canal” brings fear to the heart of some of our bravest patients.
But at Smiles First Dental, we are here to tell you that this need not be so.
A root canal is usually a painless treatment and one that reduces pain and damage in an affected tooth.
Let’s take a look at the root canal, and why it can be such excellent treatment.
What is a root canal?
To understand a root canal procedure, it is good to know a little about the structure of the tooth.
In the middle of the tooth, hidden away by the external enamel and a hard layer named ‘dentin’, lies a soft tissue called the pulp.
The pulp holds, nerves, blood vessels, and nerves, and the pulp is necessary to the development of the tooth as it grows.
The pulp reaches from the very end of the root to the crown of the tooth. Although the pulp is necessary for tooth development, it is not absolutely required for a mature tooth. A root canal is the removal of this pulp.
What makes a root canal necessary?
If the pulp becomes inflamed or infected, endodontic treatment becomes necessary.
The infection or inflammation has various causes – deep decay, repeated dental procedures, cracks, chips, or traumatic injury to the tooth.
If this infection or inflammation is left untreated, pain or an abscess may follow.
What are the symptoms?
There are a few symptoms that mean you might need a root canal—
- Extreme pain while biting or chewing
- Chipped or cracked teeth
- Lingering or unusual sensitivity to hot or cold, even after hot or cold is no longer present
- Tender or swollen gums
- Pimples on the gums
- Darkening or deep decay of the gums
How does root canal save a tooth?
Basically, by removing the pulp, the inflammation and infection are also removed.
The endodontist uses various tools to remove the pulp, cleans and shapes the interior of the now-empty root canal, then fills the space and seals it.
Soon after, you will visit a dentist, who will put a crown, or other restoration, on the tooth to safeguard it and return it to its former function.
Root Canal Treatment Process in Northmead
The process usually takes one or two visits.
The first step is examination and X-ray to determine all the facts of the case. Then, anaesthesia is administered, and once you are numb, a “dental dam” is used to isolate the tooth. This keeps the tooth clean and free of saliva.
Endodontic treatment can often be performed in one or two visits and involves the following steps:
The endodontist makes an opening through the tooth’s crown. Very delicate instruments clean the pulp from the pulp chamber and root canals and to shape the space for filling.
The endodontist then makes an opening at the top of the tooth and uses very small tools to clean the pulp from the root canal and pulp chamber. At the same time, the space is shaped for optimal filling.
Once space is prepared, the root canals are filled, usually with gutta-percha, a biocompatible material. The gutta-percha is bonded in place, and a temporary filling closes the opening.
At your next trip to the dentist, your dentist removes the temporary filling before restoring the tooth with a crown that restores your tooth to its full function, while also protecting it.
Is it painful?
Anaesthesia means it isn’t, and many endodontic procedures, including the root canal, are performed to relieve a tooth’s pain. You should be relaxed and comfortable during the process.
There may be some discomfort after the procedure, but this can be relieved by over-the-counter medicine or, in severe cases, prescription medication.
Your tooth may feel a bit odd for a few days after your procedure, but this feeling goes away. If you experience severe pressure or pain, or pain that lingers, give you endodontist a call!
The main thing is to follow all of your endodontist’s instructions, including avoiding hard or chewy foods, brushing your teeth twice daily, and generally being cautious with the area near the root canal.
Dental Care in Northmead
Smiles First Dental is your trustworthy Northmead dentist. The appearance of your smile and its underlying health are vital to us.
Our expertly trained staff treats all dental issues, including complicated problems related to other health conditions.
We know that to some patients, the thought of visiting the dentist can be quite daunting and adding the words “root canal” to that can be quite frightening.
But we are here to reassure you and listen to any questions or concerns you may have about your treatment.
Our commitment to our patients is optimal dental health and a stunning smile.
We make life a little bit easier for our patients by offering late hours on weekdays and weekend appointments.
GAP FREE CHECK UP AND CLEAN
We offer all patients gap-free check-ups, cleans and all preventative treatments if you are in a private health fund ($180 for patients not in a private health fund).
We are located at 19/5-7 Kleins Rd in Northmead.